Russian Flagship Moskva in fire, Ukraine claims Neptune Missile hit it
Russian state media outlets TASS and RIA, citing the Russian Defence Ministry, said the Moskva had been seriously damaged in the incident and that the cause of the fire was being investigated. The Russian media did not give information on possible casualties. But hours earlier than the Russian media, a Ukraine’s Odesa state regional administrator claimed the Russian warship had been hit by cruise missiles fired from Ukraine.
The 186-meter long Moskva, with a crew of almost 500, is the pride of the Russian naval fleet in the Black Sea. It is the flagship of the fleet. Originally commissioned into the Soviet navy as the Slava in the 1980s, it was renamed Moskva in 1995 and, after a refit, re-entered service in 1998. The Moskva was armed with anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles, torpedoes and naval guns, and close-in missile defence systems. Odesa Military administrator Maxim Marchenko claimed in a post on Telegram that Ukrainian forces had used Neptune cruises missiles to attack the Moskva. This is the second claim for Neptune to hit a Russian ship.
The Neptune is a Ukrainian anti-ship missile that was domestically developed and is based on the Soviet KH-35 cruise missile. The Moskva is also symbolic to Ukraine because it was one of the ships involved in the famous exchange at Snake Island in February.